Vice President of Communication (2014-2015)
- Hamilton, NY
- 2,900 undergraduate students
- Founded in 1819
- Highly selective residential liberal arts institution
- University spokeswoman
- Principal advisor to the President, his senior leadership and the Board of Trustees
- Created a crisis communication program
- Reorganized the Office of Communications to be more effective with teamwork, content strategy and university-wide collaborations
A highly selective residential liberal arts institution located in central New York, Colgate University has just under 3,000 undergraduate students. From 2014-15, the university experienced some of its most tumultuous recent years, with more than 50 public relations issues to manage.
Serving as the Vice President of Communication and a member of the senior leadership team reporting directly to President Jeffrey Herbst, I was the principal strategic communications advisor and spokeswoman for the university. I led the development of a comprehensive crisis communication plan and associated documentation and training. Under my direction, a team of 15 worked to elevate Colgate’s reputation by sharing, across all media, stories that focused on the university’s core messaging, strengths, and distinctiveness.
I provided strategic guidance to academic, administrative, and student service departments and programs on a range of campus issues and communication practices, including reputation management, messaging, and visual identity. I was part of the team that developed “Colgate for All,” an extensive action plan authored collaboratively by students and administrators to help put Colgate on the path toward becoming a more inclusive and welcoming campus for all students.
Rachel was a colleague of mine on the senior leadership team at Colgate University; she was VP of Communications while I was Provost/Dean of the Faculty. Rachel was an outstanding collaborator who understood a university’s communications needs. She was a vital member in shaping and sharing Colgate’s strategic planning and timely implementation efforts.Dr. Douglas A. Hicks